Amiga and Commodore news and topics not covered in the other forums
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:53 am

Lately, with all of the commodore club meet-ups and Living Computer presentations I've needed to prepare for, I've not had the time for games like I usually do. But I still like to get my Amiga fix each night.

So, to keep things in small bites, I've been spending a lot of my evenings doing one of my favorite things to help me relax and unwind after a long day. This is going to sound really strange, I know. And I'm hoping to post in greater detail with more specifics later. But at a high level, I really enjoy going through Public Domain software disks that I either find in my stacks or online. When I find them online, I'll pull them down onto floppies and load them up like it's 1989 or something.

Then I experience the disk as it was originally packaged for the first time. A lot of them are full of text files - almost like diary entries about Amiga events someone went to. What they saw, what they heard. It's a bit like reading AmigaWorld magazine, but less professional and more personal. I dunno - I just enjoy it.

And, they always come with some cool software (like Icon Master) and sometiems, when I'm lucky, they'll have some insanely gorgeous images someone either drew - by hand - or scanned, or even grabbed off a VHS tape and digitized. I've been creating a folder full of these. But today I'll share just one. One of my recent favorites. It was off a PD disk from 1990 - an image from Aliens (1986).


I also drew a new 2-state RAM Disk icon.
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by primitivefunction posted Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:05 pm

Very cool image. The green back lighting makes it extra spooky.

I still have a bunch of PD disks to go through - the ones I have from the early 90s came packaged in VHS cases with charming dot matrix printed labels.
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by Bulletdust posted Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:12 am

How interesting. Where do you find these public domain software disks?
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:29 am

@bulletdust in a few places. Some of my disks I received in machine acquisitions. Two of the bigger brands I've scoured are DevWare and, of course, Fred Fish.

But for the Aliens picture it was part of a library I've slowly been going through in my spare time called from an old user group called the Memphis Amiga Group (MAG). They created two types of content: transcribed newsletters (MAGazines) and DiskMAGs. And sometimes they're combined on the same disk.

These were produced from 1987 - 1996. What's interesting is that beyond just the large libraries, there were also a lot of little regional ones, too. How vast - I've no idea. But recently I acquired some disks that were from a group local to Seattle called "Zipperware". At first I wondered if these were some sort of weird porno disks, but they actually are "Zipped" files put onto disks to more files could be shared. The downside is it's more work to simply browse the contents. The MAGdisks are awesome and very well packaged. Some of them do have to be booted from FD0: during lauch, but others can be viewed via Workbench, which is nice.
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:03 pm

One more awesome pic off the MAGdisks this week. Remember this ad? It (I think) came out in 1983, and I swear it got put into so many magazines back in the day...

The funny thing is, I was sitting here looking at it, marveling at the SHAM graphics on my ancient A1000, when I heard my kids coming down the basement stairs! I quickly found the ESC key on the keyboard and closed the pic. Whew... truth is, I was being overly prudish. But times have changed. I must have been in 6th or 7th grade when I first saw this ad.
Budweiser Girls
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:33 am

This past weekend I came down with a nasty chest cold. So bad that it has sidelined me from work today. Not the end of the world, just super annoying. I had in the back of my mind, "Well now I can try to finish Star Control!" I did master more of the ships and got a very good feel for the controls, but my head is too foggy to really give the full scenarios the attention they require.

So, after resting, I started to move software over to the A2000 - software I I thought I might want to use for designing some logos. Turns out I don't have any vector drawing programs except a font creator (which is cool, but not what I'm after right now). I have crates and crates of boxed programs, but they are all raster drawing programs, 3D modeling and rendering programs, desktop publishing programs, music composing and mixing, broadcast TV production... It's borderline crazy. But not really any dedicated vector programs from what I can see - like Adobe Illustrator. Unfortunately that was never made for the Amiga.

At first I went ahead and installed PageStream. This is really more a professional layout program for creating sophisticated print jobs - from newspapers to magazines to really kick-butt looking documents. The only "downside" is that this professional software is set to hi-res. So you really need a "flicker fixer" which is a video de-interlacer to display the program without it jiggling all over the screen like a train is cruising right below your desk. Made me realize I need to go look in my pile of cards to see if I have a 2320 board hidden in there somewhere. But until I source an Amber chip for my 2000, Pagestream is not going to be a program I'll be using. It makes my eyes bleed.

So, I moved over to Deluxe Paint III. I have a C= pin that I used as a reference and started trying to make a logo based off of it.
The beginnings of a Commodore logo using Deluxe Paint III.

I then started to do the alternating pixel trick to give the logo some texture.
Textureized. Before there were "lickable icons" on OS X, there were shiny things made with pixel art found elsewhere. ;) I discovered well after the fact that there is a way to customize some of the tools to pump out alternating pixels (yes!) but I'd already finished doing it all by hand. Next time.

After downing a couple of mugs of macha green tea, I was up for bigger challenge - the boing ball.

Keep in mind, the tools in DPIII are fairly limiting. When you've got 30 years of Photoshop experience, DP can be baffling at times. But those limitations force you to think creatively to accomplish tasks.

With the C= logo, I create a black filled circle, then a blue one inside it, then another black one, then white. The ribbon was a lot more straight forward to create. Making sure everything was pixel perfect from math-wize was the main challenge there to ensure the angles matched.

The beginnings of a boing ball, but not the end.

With the Boing ball it was very hard and really more of a puzzle. After creating the outer circle I had to kind of create rough guesses as to where the squares would go, which are all curved and essentially follow the shape of vertical orange slices. Then, I had to - by hand - begin to draw out the curves. I can see now in hindsight that my center square and bulge needs to be increased slightly on both sides, which means I'll have to redraw nearly every square to accommodate the bigger center bulge. But it's close.

I quit after getting this far as my cold simply wiped me out. Nice, relaxing way to pass the time, though.
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by primitivefunction posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:26 pm

If you want to take your Boing Ball a step further, you can try the classic colour-cycling trick to make it spin. Here’s a really good tutorial:

I love working in DPaint. Once you start to memorise the keyboard shortcuts it becomes really quick too. I actually find myself going into a bit of a zen state when I’m using it now - a nice break from Photoshop with its squillions of layers and options..
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sat May 11, 2019 8:41 am

I am working on a site banner for a different site (more on that later) and needed to get my Boing! drawing finished. I got it where I'm happy with it.

That kerning, tho...


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